Do push ups gain muscle – how it Work?

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Do push ups gain muscle: Since the beginning of contemporary strength training, the push-up has been one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for targeting upper-body muscles.

This crucial activity remains a staple in the exercise plans of athletes, leisure gym-goers, bodybuilders, and even those recovering from specific injuries.

While most people are familiar with the push-up, some may be uncertain about which muscles it targets.

This page discusses which muscles are used in push-ups, how to perform them, the benefits, typical faults, and popular variations.

What muscle groups do push-ups work?

Push-ups are commonly referred to as a chest workout, but the other muscles they engage should not be disregarded.

The push-up is classified as a compound bodyweight exercise, which means it works multiple upper-body muscles.

Here are the muscles you’ll work when doing a typical push-up.

Pectoralis main

The pectoralis major is the largest chest muscle. It’s thick, fan-shaped, and located directly beneath the breast tissue. It acts as the primary mover during a push-up.

The muscle consists of two heads. One is the clavicular head, which begins in the clavicle’s medial portion. The other is the sternocostal head, which develops from the sternum and upper ribs.

While these heads originate in different sites, they both insert into the upper section of the humerus, or upper arm bone.

During the push-up, this muscle controls your torso’s descent to the floor and pushes your body back up to its starting position.

Pectoralis minor

The pectoralis minor is a lesser-recognized muscle of the chest. It’s considerably smaller in size and lies under the pectoralis main.

This small triangle-formed muscle originates from the entrance third through fifth ribs. It inserts onto the coracoid course of, a small hook-like structure on the entrance part of the scapula.

When performing the push-up, the pectoralis minor retains the scapulae, your shoulder blades, in place. This permits for the right posture of the shoulders and higher again.


The triceps, formally often known as the triceps brachii, is a large, thick muscle situated on the again of your higher arm.

The prefix “tri” refers back to the three heads that type this important pushing muscle. These are known as the medial, lateral, and long heads.

Each head has a singular origination level. The medial and lateral heads originate from the again of the humerus, your higher arm bone. The long head originates from the higher part of the scapula below your shoulder joint.

All three heads insert onto the olecranon course of, which is the pointed bone on the again of your elbow joint.

During the primary half of the push-up, when your chest is sort of touching the ground, the triceps helps stabilize the torso. During the second half, the triceps is the first mover as you lengthen the arms.

Anterior deltoids

The deltoids are the large, triangular-formed muscle groups situated on prime of the shoulder joints.

Like the triceps, these highly effective muscle groups are made up of three distinct heads — the anterior, lateral, and posterior heads.

While all heads are active during the push-up, the anterior head is focused probably the most due to its location on the entrance of the shoulder joint.

This head originates from the frontal part of the clavicle bone and inserts onto the outer part of the humerus of your higher arm.

During the upward part of the push-up, the anterior deltoids assist adduct the shoulder joint, that means they assist carry the arms inward in the direction of the chest. They also assist stabilize the shoulders during the downward part.

Core muscle groups

While push-ups largely stimulate the chest muscle groups, different muscle teams assist the motion.

One such group is the muscle groups of the core — particularly, the abdominals.

The abdominals are made up of 5 foremost muscle groups known as the rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, inner and exterior obliques, and the pyramidalis.

Additionally, the deep core muscle groups of the again assist keep the torso erect. Particularly, the erector spinae and multifidus help with this.

Working in unison, these core muscle groups assist keep your backbone straight to allow for good type when performing the push-up.


While the push-up largely targets the muscle groups of the chest, the pectoralis main and minor, a number of different muscle teams contribute. Namely, these include the triceps, anterior deltoids, and the core muscle groups.

What are the benefits of pushups?

The push-up is a tried and true body weight exercise recognized to supply a number of potential benefits. Here are the highest benefits of regularly performing push-ups.

Builds higher body power

Considering that the push-up is a compound exercise that targets a number of muscle teams concurrently, it has nice potential to construct higher body power.

When incorporating push-ups as a part of a effectively-balanced training program, they will construct important power in the pectoralis, tricep, and anterior deltoid muscle groups.

In addition, analysis means that weighted push-ups can present related muscle activation because the bench press, one other effectively-recognized higher body exercise (1Trusted Source).

Though push-ups predominantly goal muscle groups of the higher body, performing them with good type can also strengthen muscle groups of the core, particularly the stomach muscle groups and lower again.

May reduce the risk of cardiac occasions

Research means that having the ability to carry out push-ups and being physically match lowers your risk of having a heart assault or stroke.

For instance, a effectively-recognized 2019 research in male firefighters found that having the ability to carry out extra push-ups was related to a lower risk of cardiovascular occasions like heart assault and stroke (2Trusted Source).

Those who may carry out more than 40 push-ups had a lower risk of cardiovascular occasions than those that may carry out fewer than 10.

This indicates that push-up capability may very well be used as a marker of physical health and that having the ability to carry out extra push-ups may point out better heart health.

Yet, it’s important to note that this research didn’t bear in mind influential lifestyle factors like diet. Further, it stays unclear if the findings translate to different population teams than adult males.

May improve body composition

Anyone who has done more than just some push-ups is aware of they will get your heart pumping.

Adding power exercises like push-ups to an aerobic exercise program can increase energy metabolism, ensuing in extra calories burned. This may result in benefits like increased fat loss (3Trusted Source).

Thus, including push-ups to a effectively-balanced workout routine alongside an acceptable diet can result in long-term improvements in body composition.


Regularly performing push-ups comes with a number of potential benefits, including building higher body power, reducing the risk of cardiac occasions, and improving body composition.

How to do push-ups with correct type

While the push-up requires no gear and is pretty easy to carry out, there are some refined cues to keep in thoughts when performing them.

By following the steps below, you’ll be effectively in your way to performing the proper push-up.

  1. Start in a high plank position together with your arms prolonged and palms positioned on the ground at shoulder width. Plant your toes on the ground in line together with your legs.
  2. Engage your core muscle groups, glutes, and legs to align your backbone.
  3. Maintaining a straight again and keeping your gaze just some toes in entrance of you, bend your elbows to descend in a gradual, managed movement, simply till your chest grazes the ground. Keep your elbows tucked near your sides all through the motion.
  4. While exhaling, push your palms in the direction of the ground to return your self to the beginning place. Focus on contracting the chest and tricep muscle groups while keeping your core tight.
  5. Repeat for the specified amount of reps and units.

You could need to experiment with totally different reps ranges. The desk below outlines the ideal number of push-up units and reps based mostly in your level of expertise:



Start in a high plank place together with your palms on the ground at shoulder width. Keeping a decent core, bend your elbows, descending till your chest grazes the ground. Push your self again up while exhaling, maintaining a straight again.

6 common push-up variations

While the usual push-up is most common, there are lots of variations you may make the most of to make the motion simpler, tougher, or barely focused in the direction of totally different muscle groups.

Here are some of the top variations so that you can try.

1. Knee push-ups

This variation is superb for beginners who’re still developing the higher body power required to do an everyday push-up.

Doing push-ups in your knees reduces the resistance, making the motion simpler to carry out.

To carry out a knee push-up, begin in a modified high plank place. Instead of planting your toes on the ground, hold your self up in your knees.

From there, carry out the motion similar to a normal push-up. Ensure your again stays straight and keep your elbows barely tucked on the upward portion.

2. Wall push-ups

The wall push-up is one other variation that decreases the depth. This makes it an incredible possibility for these simply beginning out.

Performing a push-up vertically against a wall instead of the ground decreases the resistance of the motion, making it much less difficult. The nearer you stand to the wall, the better the motion.

Your toes should stay flat on the ground while you place your fingers barely wider than shoulder-width. Descend in the direction of the wall till your head touches barely, then push off the wall to return to the beginning place.

3. Incline push-up

The incline push-up is a variation the place your fingers are barely elevated on a weight bench, step-up platform, park bench, or related.

This reduces the resistance barely, making the exercise simpler.

Complete the motion simply as you’ll with a normal push-up.

4. Decline-push up

Contrary to the incline push-up, the decline variation includes elevated toes instead of fingers.

This creates extra rigidity for the muscle groups of the chest, making the motion barely tougher.

In addition, this variation targets the higher pecs, often known as the pectoralis, more than a normal push-up.

5. Weighted push-up

Another way to increase the issue is so as to add resistance.

You can achieve this by sporting a weighted vest or having a associate place a weight plate in your again.

From there, carry out a normal push-up, paying shut consideration to maintaining correct type.

6. One-arm push-up

The one-arm push-up represents the head of problem when it involves this exercise.

This variation requires you to carry out a push-up by elevating and decreasing your body with only one arm.

You’ll arrange similar to a traditional push-up. Then, simply before you descend, elevate one arm behind your again and carry out the motion with one arm.

Only probably the most superior should try this selection as it places nice stress on the working arm. It can result in injury if not carried out accurately.


These six push-up variations range in level of problem, supplying you with room to develop as your higher body power progresses.

Common errors

While the push-up is a straightforward motion, there are a number of common errors to keep in thoughts.

Don’t let your again sag

One of probably the most common errors related to push-ups is letting your again sag.

By doing so, you lose out on energy that should be going in the direction of the goal muscle groups. It could also cause stress on certain joints and/or your lower again.

To repair this, engage your core and leg muscle groups, guaranteeing that your body is inflexible from head to toe, from begin to end.

Don’t flare your arms

Another common mistake is flaring out your arms to create a T form together with your arms and torso.

This makes you lose beneficial power that should instead be transferred to the working muscle groups. It could also pressure your shoulder joints.

To repair this, focus on tucking your elbows in the direction of your torso and rotating your palms a little outward.

If you’re still struggling to maintain a correct type all through the motion, select an simpler push-up variation to apply and construct power before progressing to tougher options.

Going too quick

A third common mistake when performing push-ups is descending and/or ascending too quick.

This can cause you to lose tightness in your working muscle groups, usually ensuing in type breakdown and motion inefficiency.

To appropriate this, focus on taking at 3–4 seconds to carry out every push-up. You could even go slower than this if most well-liked.

As your technique improves, you might be able to go barely quicker while still maintaining correct type.


Some common errors to bear in mind of when performing push-ups include letting your again sag, flaring out your arms, or going too quick.

10 Different Push-Ups to Build Muscle and Flex Like a Pro

Push-ups are a classic workout that will change your body from fat to fab in no time. But did you know there’s an entire menu of push-up varieties just ready to be tried? Let’s look at 10 different forms of push-ups that can help you build muscle and flex like a pro in no time!

  1. Standard Push-Ups:The original push-ups! Get down on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, and push yourself up so your arms are straight. This traditional technique works your chest, shoulders, and triceps, providing a total-body burn.
  2. Diamond push-ups:
    Feeling fancy? Form a diamond shape with your hands beneath your chest, then feel the fire in your triceps. It’s like giving your arms a luxurious makeover!
  3. Wide-Grip Push-Ups: Experience the stretch! Wide-grip push-ups work your chest muscles more strongly, giving you the broad-shouldered appearance you’ve always desired.
  4. Decline Push-ups:
    Are you ready to level up? Elevate your feet on a bench or solid surface, and feel the burn in your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps. Just remember to bring a towel; things are about to get steamy!
  5. One-Arm Push-Ups: Feel like a superhero? Try one-arm push-ups and feel the power rush through your veins. It’s like doing push-ups with one hand tied behind your back, literally!
  6. Plyometric Push-Ups: Prepare to burst! Plyometric push-ups, also known as clap push-ups, require lifting oneself off the ground with enough energy to clap your hands together in the air. It’s like a muscular high-five!
  7. Close-Grip Push-Ups: Experience the heat in your triceps. Close-grip push-ups target those pesky bat wings, leaving your arms taut and toned.
  8. Archer Push-Ups: Find your inner Robin Hood with these push-ups. Begin in a regular push-up posture, shifting your weight to one side as you lower yourself, then pushing back up and repeat on the other side. It’s like shooting arrows of strength with each repetition!
  9. Spiderman Push-Ups: Crawl up walls like Spiderman! With each push-up, raise one knee up to your elbow as you lower yourself, switching sides. It’s like battling criminals and getting ripped!
  10. Hindu Push-Ups: Enjoy a Zen-like experience with this exercise. Begin in a downward dog posture, lower yourself while keeping your hips low, and soar forward into an upward dog position. It’s similar to performing yoga, but with extra muscle-building advantages!

The bottom line (Do push ups gain muscle)

The push-up is a staple higher body motion in the training packages of athletes, leisure gym-goers, bodybuilders, and these recovering from certain accidents.

While it’s usually thought of as a chest exercise, it also works the triceps, anterior deltoids, and core muscle groups, in addition to the pectoralis main and minor.

Notable benefits of performing push-ups include building higher body power, reducing the risk of cardiac occasions, and improving body composition.

There are quite a few variations of the usual push-up that allow you to increase or lower the issue relying in your level of expertise and power.

Common errors to bear in mind of include letting your again sag, flaring out your arms, or going too quick.

If you’re on the lookout for a tried and true exercise to construct higher body power, you might contemplate including push-ups to your workout routine.


  1. Increased Muscle Strength: Push-ups are like the Swiss Army knife of exercises – they work multiple muscle groups at once, helping you build strength faster than a beaver builds a dam.
  2. Convenience: Who needs a fancy gym membership when you can do push-ups anywhere, anytime? Whether you’re at home, at the office, or stranded on a deserted island, push-ups got your back.
  3. Cost-Effective: Forget expensive equipment – all you need for a killer push-up workout is the floor beneath you. It’s like getting ripped without breaking the bank.
  4. Versatility: Push-ups come in more flavors than ice cream – from standard push-ups to diamond push-ups to one-arm push-ups, the possibilities are endless. It’s like a buffet for your muscles!
  5. Improved Core Stability: Want abs of steel? Look no further than push-ups. They not only sculpt your chest and arms but also help strengthen your core, giving you the stability of a tripod in a hurricane.
  6. Functional Strength: Ever struggled to lift a heavy box or carry groceries up the stairs? Push-ups mimic real-life movements, making everyday tasks feel as easy as pie. Well, maybe not baking a pie, but you get the idea.
  7. Boosted Confidence: Nothing says “I’m a force to be reckoned with” like knocking out a set of push-ups like a boss. Plus, who doesn’t love flexing in the mirror after a killer workout?


  1. Risk of Injury: Push-ups may be a superhero of exercises, but even superheroes have their kryptonite. Improper form can lead to injuries faster than you can say “ouch.”
  2. Plateauing: Doing the same old push-ups day in and day out can feel as exciting as watching paint dry. Without variety, your muscles might hit a plateau faster than a tortoise in quicksand.
  3. Boredom: Let’s face it – there’s only so much excitement to be had from repeatedly pushing yourself off the ground. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with fewer Bill Murray sightings.
  4. Not for Everyone: Some folks may find push-ups too challenging or uncomfortable, like trying to fit into skinny jeans after a Thanksgiving feast. It’s okay to start slow and work your way up.
  5. Overuse Injuries: Too much of a good thing can be, well, not so good. Overdoing push-ups can lead to overuse injuries faster than a cheetah chasing its prey.
  6. Limited Muscle Engagement: While push-ups target several muscle groups, they may not hit all the muscles you want to work on. It’s like trying to paint a masterpiece with only three colors in your palette.
  7. Ego Bruising: Ever tried to do a push-up and failed miserably? Yeah, it’s not great for the ol’ self-esteem. But hey, even superheroes have their off days.

People also ask:

Can you gain muscle from push-ups?

Absolutely! Push-ups are like the magic beans of muscle growth – they might not turn you into the Incredible Hulk overnight, but they’ll definitely help you beef up those biceps and sculpt your chest faster than you can say “flex appeal.” By challenging your muscles with each rep, push-ups stimulate growth and development, turning you into a lean, mean muscle machine. It’s like planting seeds in a garden – with dedication and consistency, you’ll watch those muscles sprout and grow stronger with each push-up session. So ditch the excuses, drop and give me twenty, and get ready to unleash your inner muscle-bound superhero! Push-up power, activate!

How many pushups should I do a day?

Ah, the age-old question: how many push-ups should you do a day? Well, it’s a bit like asking how many sprinkles you should put on your ice cream – it depends on your taste! Start with a manageable number, like your age or the number of cookies you can eat in one sitting. Then, gradually increase the reps as you get stronger, like leveling up in a video game. Aim for a number that challenges you without leaving you feeling like a soggy noodle. Remember, quality over quantity – it’s better to do fewer perfect push-ups than a million sloppy ones. Push on, my friend!

Can pushups build biceps?

Absolutely! While push-ups are famous for sculpting the chest and shoulders, they’re like a secret agent for your biceps – working undercover to give them a stealthy boost. With each rep, push-ups engage your biceps as they help stabilize and support your body. It’s like giving your biceps a sneak attack workout, leaving them pumped and ready for action. So if you’ve ever dreamed of flexing those guns like a superhero, don’t underestimate the humble push-up. It’s the silent hero in your muscle-building arsenal, secretly sculpting those biceps into bulging beauties. Flex on, my friend!

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